MKs: Pardon Omri Sharon, for his father's sake

Close to 30 MKs, including 6 ministers, say Sharon's absence from his father's sickbed could lead the latter to "lose hope" and thus shorten his life.

omri sharon in court 224 (photo credit: AP)
omri sharon in court 224
(photo credit: AP)
Some 30 Knesset members, including six cabinet ministers, have signed a petition calling on President Shimon Peres to pardon Omri Sharon, said the organizer of the petition, Deputy Foreign Minister Majallie Whbee, on Monday. The petition said, "We, the undersigned, members of the Knesset, appeal to you to give positive consideration to granting a pardon to Mr. Omri Sharon to enable him to remain at his father's bedside." Among the petition's signatories were cabinet ministers Shaul Mofaz, Gideon Ezra, Ya'acov Edri, Shalom Simhon, Ze'ev Boim and Ruhama Avraham-Balila. MKs who signed included Tzahi Hanegbi, Moshe Gafni, Otniel Schneller, Yoel Hasson, Ronit Tirosh, Yoram Marciano, Orit Noked, Nissim Ze'ev and Yitzhak Ziv. No Likud MKs agreed to sign the petition. The statement continued, "We don't take lightly Omri Sharon's actions, for which he was convicted and sentenced to seven months in jail. However, we believe that the fact that he had not been put on trial previously for a similar crime, and given the medical condition of Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for more than two years, and the fact that his son Omri's absence could cause him to lose hope and shorten his life, make it essential in this case to ease his punishment so that he may continue to sit at his father's bedside." Sharon was convicted in Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on February 13, 2006 on charges of making false entries into the documents of a corporate body, taking a false oath and violating the Political Parties Law. The charges had to do with illegal contributions made by mysterious foreign donors to his father's primary campaign for leadership of the Likud Party in September 1999. Omri Sharon did not register the contribution and kept a separate and secret account of the true income and expenditures of the campaign. Sharon appealed the verdict and in June 2006, Tel Aviv District Court reduced the sentence to seven months but rejected his request to serve his time by performing public service. He entered Ma'asiyahu Prison on February 26. Almost immediately afterwards, calls began to be made for his release. Last week, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On submitted a request to Peres and Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to pardon Omri Sharon. However, Bar-On said he made the request as a private citizen and wrote it on his personal stationery.